My Version of Hell

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There is no better therapist than a personal journal.  A journal waits patiently, doesn’t interrupt, argue, criticize, judge, talk back, condemn, nag, or gossip.  It’s there on your terms, when you want it, and it’s essentially free. 


It’s also fun and sometimes embarrassing to re-read and see how perspective changes, or how memories differ from the written version.  I’ve kept a journal off and on throughout my life.  I’ve lost some, burned some, and some were stolen.  I prefer writing by hand, as I sit with morning coffee, because there’s no urgency, no need to correct typos, and there’s something inherently satisfying about low-tech pen and paper. 


Ten years ago this month, I had entered early retirement, had acquired my first batch of chickens, and was watching my stock investments fall below the value of my medical school debt.  I was considering whether an individual could secede from the United States and not be owned by any country.  I was reading a lot, as always, books, magazines and newspapers.  I was beginning to pay attention to the FDA’s periodic food scares and seeing a pattern.  I was philosophizing about how things ought to be.


Now, in 2018, my views have evolved, but not too much.  I’m more offended now than before by the path the US is taking but feel resigned to it.  Ten years older, I feel the squeezing of time into fewer remaining years.  Ambition and goals seem less important.  I’ve recognized that many dreams may never come true, nor will some nightmares.  Day to day existence goes on automatic pilot, most of the time, with less to interest or inspire, but more enjoyment from unexpected events, like a sunny day after a week of clouds and rain.


Here are some entries from November, 2008:




Sunday, November 2, 2008--I may secede from the US.  Why should I be a citizen of any country?  I’m still a taxpayer if I live here.  Does that make me illegal, if I was born five miles from where I live?


As an independent country, I am a citizen of the planet.  How’s that?  I belong to no government, and no government belongs to me.  I make up my own laws as I go along, and if I break them, nobody cares but me.  My own government is self-governance.  It costs me nothing in taxes, and it provides generous returns on my investment.


I wonder about the expectation that anyone should be a citizen of any country.  What’s the point of citizenship except to vote and in the US, pay taxes?  If I were a foreigner, I would still pay taxes, and if I owned property, I would pay property taxes, so I would be contributing to government services, such as they are.


Radical revolutionary that I am.




Thursday, November 6, 2008—The internal nags don’t let up.  The work ethic is so heavily instilled in me that I feel worthless if I’m not accomplishing things. 


I avoid the study and the computer, and the piles of written words that await me there, my own files, and books and newspapers and magazines.  So much information, much of it misleading, descriptive of a value system, and set of beliefs I don’t share.




Saturday, November 8, 2008—I can’t blame anyone for the fact that I attract problems.  I’m the solution all the problems are looking for, but do the problems want to be solved?  No.  They would lose their identity as problems, because they are ego-attached to being problems.


Maybe I’m ego-attached to being a solution, but I’m letting go of that.  I worked myself out of a psychiatry job by declaring crazy normal.


I am neither solution nor problem, because both are traps.  The concept of problems and solutions is as suspect as strength and weakness.  Relative to what, I ask.  My “solutions” bring new “problems,” and my ‘weaknesses” help develop “strengths” that then become “weaknesses” in turn.




Saturday, November 8, 2008--My version of hell is having to put up with miserable people forever.  I can hear the whiners now:


“It’s your fault you’re here.  You murdered me.  You deserve to be here.”


“So why are you here?”


“It’s a mistake.  I’m appealing God’s decision.”


“God made the right decision, alright.  Why do you think I murdered you?  I did the world a favor.”      


“Hell wasn’t such a bad place, until you got here.  The beer is free.”


“The beer is free?  In hell?

“Yep.  Keeps people from wanting to go to heaven.”


“Why do they call it hell?”


“Why do you think?  It costs money to get to heaven, and nobody would buy into it if they knew they could get free beer in hell.  Everything is free in hell, because everyone just takes what he wants without paying, anyway.


“But it’s so hot.”


“We drink a lot of beer and pass out so we don’t feel the heat so much.”


“Has anyone asked the Devil to turn down the heat?  It’s not energy efficient, you know.

“You could ask him, but he gets cold easily in this drafty cave, and he is thin.”


“He could put on a sweater.”

“Why should he?  He’s supposed to be torturing these people, and he’s afraid of losing his job if he doesn’t cause them enough pain.”

“That’s true in all government jobs.  So the Devil isn’t self-employed?


“Hell, no.  Who in his right mind would pay to spend eternity with the Devil?”


“How does he pay for the beer?”


“He steals it, of course.  He sends his hellions topside whenever supplies run low, and they bring back everything people have ordered, including nuclear power plants, to help keep the Devil warm.”


“Sounds like the government.”


“Government is hell.  I thought you knew that”


“Why do we have it?”


“To keep people out of heaven, of course.  Heaven was getting crowded, what with all those people resting in peace.  God ran out of bedrooms and couldn’t wake anybody up to build more, so He created hell to take the heat off Him.  He sent Lucifer down to manage things and wake people up, but he steals beer for them instead.”






goldminor Added Nov 16, 2018 - 12:32pm
Nice read!
Bill H. Added Nov 16, 2018 - 12:45pm
Excellent as usual, Katherine!
I'm more and more convinced that crazy is the new normal.
George N Romey Added Nov 16, 2018 - 12:48pm
Katharine I went through a similar period.  What I've learned is that government isn't really about me and people like me.  Its about the super rich and manipulating the poor and ignorant than will become dependent upon government for meager handouts.  The banking system isn't about funding the needs of commerce.  Its about a few born rich getting ugly rich at the expense of everyone else.
National defense same concept. American Democracy, code words for exploiting others around the world for the gain of a few here, including the aforementioned bankers
In other words the system is really rotten and has never been about people like you and me.  So the best one can do is make happiness in their own world and laugh at it all.  I'm working to the point where I can telecommute from home. Then I'm going to buy a smaller camper and run for one of the beautiful national parks with a camper hook up.  The people doing this are suddenly all the rage on Youtube.  Living a simple life with minimal material possessions and loving their immediate surroundings.  
The entire "Republican"/"Democrat" debate (including Trump and his enemies) is about nonsensical as the Coke/Pepsi debate.  Just a bunch of crap that is rotten and not good for the human body.  Voting is for the chumps of the world.  Unless you are making $500K a year the people you vote for aren't worried about you, other than you voted for them.  It's P T Barnum to a scale even he could have never envisioned. 
Stone-Eater Added Nov 16, 2018 - 12:49pm
Great. Usually I think that a journal/diary is a women thing but I write one since 1999. By now it has about 3'000 pages (entries, mp3's, pics, small movies and newspaper articles, and some WB articles as well LOL)
I've started that because I wanted that one day, when I'm being gone, my kids understand things that I maybe didn't say or forgot.
Mike and the Mechanics - in the living years
Maybe I'm sentimental, but that's me.
opher goodwin Added Nov 16, 2018 - 12:52pm
Interesting Katharine. I wish I'd kept a journal. I have a diary from when I was seventeen and a notebook from when I was twenty. That's it. Not enough.
Fascinating read.
John Minehan Added Nov 16, 2018 - 2:45pm
Sartre: "Hell is other people."
Marty Koval Added Nov 16, 2018 - 3:46pm
John M:
Hell is absolutely not other people. Yes, people can be hard to get along with at times, but it is something you can avoid.
Hell is a place that no one should want to go or experience. The Bible scripture Revelation 21:8 describes who goes to hell and what hell is: “The cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars–their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur.” 
Once you go to hell, it is forever. You will experience what is said in the Bible scripture Luke 13:28 - There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out.
This weeping and gnashing of teeth will be forever and ever and ever. One you get there, you cannot leave. It is not like that person or persons who rub you the wrong way, which you can avoid, by walking away from them.
Neil Lock Added Nov 16, 2018 - 4:35pm
Katharine: You and I are soulmates. I've kept an A6 book in my pocket, when I go out, since 2004. I've got a box full of the damn things! I write a lot of crap in there, but some of my best ideas I garner out on a walk, or in the pub afterwards.
And great extracts from your diary :-) One of the things I've done, for the last year and a little more, is distil the thoughts from my wanderings over many years, and publish them on this very forum.
But I don't often talk about hell, and almost never about heaven.
The Burghal Hidage Added Nov 16, 2018 - 4:36pm
Even Sartre can be right occasionally :)
Neil Lock Added Nov 16, 2018 - 4:45pm
Marty Koval: Please tell me how I can "walk away" from the worst criminals, like politicians and tax bureaucrats.
Dino Manalis Added Nov 16, 2018 - 4:48pm
 Citizenship is legal patriotism, while income funds are better than stock investments.
James Travil Added Nov 16, 2018 - 7:48pm
Of course Farty Marty the spoil sport has to pop up and inject his mythical bullshit into Katherine's article thread. Hey Marty, who says that your myths are somehow superior to Katherine's, or mine, or anyone else's? In my myths (based on the Nine Circles of Hell) my reservation is on the 8th circle of hell, which is frozen. The beer is kept nice and cold year around. Fuck off Marty, you have your fictions and the rest of us have ours. Too bad yours sucks so bad, huh? 
Marty Koval Added Nov 16, 2018 - 8:59pm
James Travil:
Our maker has given all people the free will to say and do what their heart desires. It does not mean what they say and do is what God wants you to do.
Just like when you use the F word, instead of saying go away is your free will. But it doesn't mean it is the correct or proper word to use in conversations
If you desire to end up in Hell, that is your choice. Just remember, the choice you make is final and cannot be reversed once you get there. What your visions of Hell are will be proved to be wrong and you will be confined there forever. Where you will be weeping and gnashing of teeth for eternity. Which is the description of the torments of the damned in Hell.
James Travil Added Nov 16, 2018 - 9:12pm
Hey Marty, seek serious psychological help. Anyone like you who actually believes in bronze age myths is certifiable. 
Jeffry Gilbert Added Nov 16, 2018 - 9:27pm
I've been posting some calls for self examination among Writer Beat authors and your piece caught my eye. As I read through I detected a note of self promotion which I have no objection to but thought I'd play devil's advocate and mention this in the direction of the value of rereading a post before submitting.
Take a look at yourself FNG. 
Jeffry Gilbert Added Nov 16, 2018 - 9:37pm
Another good one Katharine. 
I have found that once one embraces the notion that government is the problem not the solution it frees one from its grasp. 
I have found a place where the contact I must have with government is minimal and its not only easy but preferable to hire an intermediary to interact on my behalf with self serving bureaucrats at all levels. 
Marty Koval Added Nov 16, 2018 - 9:58pm
James Travil:
The Bronze Age religion, beliefs and mythology was based on worshipping false gods. Just like worshiping Satan, none of these people were saved and ended up in eternity in the Lake of Burning Sulfur.
This world is full of false gods because Satan through his lies and deception has convinced people there are many ways to Heaven or to an eternal life. There is only one way to Heaven and Eternity life and that is through accepting Jesus Christ into your heart as Lord and Savior. 

The vast majority of the people will experience what is stated in the Bible scripture Matthew 7:13-14 - Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
The wide gate and broad road leads to hell, But the small gate and narrow road leads to heaven and eternal life.
Even A Broken Clock Added Nov 16, 2018 - 10:16pm
Katharine - if you and the Burghal just got together on your visions of the Devil, we'd really be rocking and rolling. Good piece.
Katharine Otto Added Nov 16, 2018 - 10:24pm
Glad you enjoyed it.  Thank you.
Bill H.,
Either crazy is the new normal, or life itself is surreal.  Sometimes you gotta laugh to keep from crying.
George Romey,
My point exactly.  We are saps to put up with it.
Keeping a journal is good exercise for all writers, and your desire to write a sort-of letter to those you leave behind is commendable.  Most of us don't know when or how we'll depart, or who find our writings.  I wonder, sometimes, if anybody will care to read.
I guess you've been busy writing other things, like books.  It's never too late to start a journal.  Thanks for the compliment.
Katharine Otto Added Nov 16, 2018 - 11:06pm
John Minehan,
I went through a Sartre phase.  Remember the play No Exit (Huis Clos in French)?  About five people stuck in a room together forever, with no escape, not even the luxury of being able to blink or sleep.  I like my hell better than Sartre's hell.
I don't think anyone can say what hell (or heaven) is truly like.  Some would say they don't exist.  I can't prove any of it is right or wrong.  It may  be different for each person.  I'm one person who believes forever is in the moment and time as we understand it is illusion.  I believe we create our own heaven and hell while we're alive.  Hell is not forever, even though it may seem like it.
You do seem to have a philosophical bent.  I've thought about gathering what I consider my best ideas into longer essays or book form, but they are too scattered to harness them easily.  
I don't talk about hell or heaven much, either, but I wonder if I should.  It seems that the "mass mind" is so preoccupied with worry and fear that it doesn't try to imagine a more evolved humanity.  It's not too late for us to get our act together.
I haven't been feeling very patriotic lately, and I abandoned Wall Street when I paid off medical school debt.  Now I'm more concerned with cash flow than investments.
Mogg Tsur,
Having been a therapist, I can tell you treating addiction is extremely difficult.  Relapse is part of the disease.  I'm sorry about your friend, but I'm not sure a therapist could have averted her course.  I also recommended my patients keep journals.  It's not a choice of either/or, and both can be helpful (or not).
Is there something wrong with self-promotion?  All personal writing is a form of self-promotion, and I don't think that's bad.  It's a way of reaching out to and communicating with people.  I can only speak for myself, but if I don't speak (write), no one will know.
As far as re-reading goes, not only do I re-read before posting, but I wait at least 24 hours and re-read again.  
James Travil,
I hope you and Marty don't end up in the same heaven (or hell) together.  Sounds like it would be hell for both of you, which leads me to wonder if heaven contains people who don't like each other, and how do they work that out?
Which government are you referring to?  The one in Thailand, or the one(s) in the US?  Glad you are employing people to deal with bureaucrats.  Too bad you need them.  Thanks for the compliment
Jeffry Gilbert Added Nov 16, 2018 - 11:11pm
Which government are you referring to?  The one in Thailand
James Travil Added Nov 17, 2018 - 1:00am
Farty Marty the insane -
"The Bronze Age religion, beliefs and mythology was based on worshipping false gods."
Exactly, like your false "god". As a Satanist I worship no one, Satan is just a symbol of personal sovereignty and freedom from false "gods" like yours. And BTW you make me laugh preaching about things that you have zero knowledge of. Have you ever seen beyond this life? Had a near death experience? No? Because I have and I know what awaits us all - NOTHING. So take your superstitious fairy tales and bullshit and shove them straight up your ass you dried up old fuck. You will die soon, and rot, and be no more, THE END. And nothing you can say will change this anymore than anything you can do will make a unicorn materialize. Checkmate asshole. You lose. 
FacePalm Added Nov 17, 2018 - 2:06am
An interesting article.
i like your speculation that we create our heaven or hell while alive, as well.
I've read that in heaven, one gets to see the results of their words and deeds, how they have rippled out and affected the lives of others.
In hell, one gets to see the results of their words and deeds, how they have rippled out and affected the lives of others.
In the latter place, many NDE'rs have reported that their souls were sent back in time into the bodies of everyone they ever hurt, and were required to re-live the experience, this time feeling every bit of the pain/shame/humiliation/agony their former victims once felt.
The first time i learned of this possibility, i exclaimed, "Wow!  That's perfect justice!"  It is, too.
It's also perfectly in keeping with the warnings Christ gave, to wit:
"As ye would that men do unto you, do also unto them."
"Give, and it will be given unto you."
"As ye sow, so shall ye reap."
"With the measure that ye mete, it shall be measured unto you again."
On the day of that realization - in the 80's, to the best of my recollection - i resolved to treat people a WHOLE lot better than i had been...
i recall my mother often saying that her version of hell would consist of being stuck in a room with a radio playing only country music, which she could neither turn down nor off.
Not a big fan of country, was mom.
Oftentimes, people do indeed choose to be miserable.  They're akin to those who seem to have gotten a beating every time they did something right.  Or maybe the words of that great, yet unconsciously brilliant prophet and social commentator, Yogi Berra, have a chance of explaining it:
"Some people ain't happy unless they ain't happy."
Unfortunately, those of this mindset seem to quite enjoy, in a perverse way, making those around them miserable, as well.  So yes, i can see how you'd say that hell would be comprised of people who are miserable and want to also make you miserable, in turn.
OTOH, heaven is an amazing place; colors are brighter, life is light and fun, compatible people help you to heal and grow, things taste awesome, the fragrance is incredible - great place...especially, in contrast.  Many people must experience hell before they appreciate heaven, however.
I've often counseled people who are depressed or despondent to start to turn their lives around via the principle of appreciation.  i say, "Start small; be grateful for a breath of cool air on a hot day, or a warm breeze when it's cold.  Appreciate the gift of a bird's song, or of sunlight breaking through the clouds, or anything you may think of as a blessing or for which to be grateful, and build on these, day by day."
i've read that if your prayer could only consist of two words, "Thank you" would be enough.  One can certainly build a viable philosophy and paradigm based on gratitude, appreciation, and thankfulness...and it does wonders for one's psyche.
James Travil Added Nov 17, 2018 - 2:19am
"In the latter place, many NDE'rs have reported that their souls were sent back in time into the bodies of everyone they ever hurt, and were required to re-live the experience, this time feeling every bit of the pain/shame/humiliation/agony their former victims once felt."
So why didn't I experience that Face? Maybe I never hurt no one? Or more likely you have watched the movie Ghost Rider one too many times. 
Lady Sekhmetnakt Added Nov 17, 2018 - 2:31am
Mr. FacePalm, my own religion as a Kemetian teaches that we are only subjected to the reality that we agree to be subjected to. So thus if you subject yourself to the Muslim belief system  you will be subjected to the Muslim system of justice and the afterlife. If you subject yourself to the Jewish belief system, that is the one you will be subjected to. Be you an atheist, and you just cease to be. There are infinite afterlife possibilities, it all is in your hands.
Been a while since I posted here. Not saying I'm back, but nice to check in. ~ Jen
Flying Junior Added Nov 17, 2018 - 3:22am
Lady Sekhmetnakt,
It's always good to hear from you.  By your absence you have been transformed from Writer Beat royalty to Writer Beat mythology.

FacePalm Added Nov 17, 2018 - 3:24am
Well, good luck with that philosophy, Jen; in mine, we are all subject to the Creator of all-that-is, and HE decides, no one else; after all, if you rob a liquor store, beat someone senseless and take their money, kidnap and torture-murder - you may BELIEVE all you like that you won't suffer consequences for doing so, but reality doesn't conform to a belief system.
i have no idea why you experienced nothingness - perhaps you didn't, but your mind recoiled so badly from the reality that you had a trauma-induced memory loss...or maybe God blessed you with forgetfulness...or maybe you returned to life before you had the "typical" journey(in quotes because there is probably no such thing, but all are tailored to the individual in question).
In any case, your experience is certainly not to be construed as the reality for all other experiencers; if you wish, you can easily find many video testimonies just by putting "near death experience" into a YT search-window.
And Jen, if what you say is true, how would you account for Muslims who've returned from their NDE and immediately sought to be baptized a Christian, rejecting Islam completely, even though their religion teaches that all who leave Islam are to be killed?  Doesn't sound like their description fits yours...
Doug Plumb Added Nov 17, 2018 - 3:43am
  I see the world around me as collapsing into insanity, yet I do my part to stop it. I study the problem, trying to understand it at a deeper level (through reading law). I am not unhappy.
  Yesterday we had snow. I rode my bike a few miles in the cold morning through fresh snow to get to my minimum wage job cleaning a construction site, then rode home. I'm sick, I have a bad cold that is slowly being killed off by my immune system. I haven't studied my math course or gone swimming in three weeks.
  I do know that the first step in solving any problem is to understand it, so my life has purpose, and for that reason I am not unhappy. I'm also wiser and more knowledgeable than I was last year. I'm learning so much about my vocation, engineering. If the system ever gets fixed I'm confident about my own competence and will be able to work toward a better career than picking up garbage.
Mr. Vengeance Added Nov 17, 2018 - 8:50am
Some guy died and went straight to Hell. While being interviewed by one of Satan's left-hand men, one of the questions was, "Do you smoke?" The man said he did, and the reply to that was, "Well, you'll like Mondays! All we do is smoke, smoke, smoke and SMOKE!!! Do you drink?" The man said he did. "Well, you're absolutely going to LOVE Tuesdays!!! All we do is drink, drink, drink, and DRINK!!!!" The man was starting to get the impression that Hell might not be a bad place after all, at least until next next question was asked. "Do you like being gang-raped by a giant gang of savage creatures with spiked and horned appendages?" The man said he distinctly DID NOT. The reply to that? "'re not going to like Wednesdays then."
James Travil Added Nov 17, 2018 - 9:27am
"James- i have no idea why you experienced nothingness - "
I do, because there is nothing beyond this life. Simple as that. And all your fantasy beliefs otherwise won't change that. 
FacePalm Added Nov 17, 2018 - 1:59pm
"There is more in heaven and earth, Horatio," said Hamlet, "than is dreamt of in your philosophy."
Simple as that.  And all your fantasy declarations won't change that, either. 
You'll find the Truth, in due time...and God who IS Truth will find YOU.
FacePalm Added Nov 17, 2018 - 2:04pm
Michael B-
I've heard that one before; told a variation of it, in fact, on many occasions, but in this version, it is a "Private Smedley" who is sent to a British duty station in India.  He was a religious chap whose "religion" forbade him playing cards, or drinking, or smoking.  When his new commander asked if he was gay, he replied "Of course not, sah!  Me religion strictly forbids THAT!" ...then your punchline.
James Travil Added Nov 17, 2018 - 3:08pm
Face your fantasys of a heaven and hell are the fantasys, not my maturity of rejection of said fantasys you fruitcake. Dream on because it is nothing but your drug addled dreams. 
FacePalm Added Nov 17, 2018 - 3:33pm
You will not inhabit your body forever; when you shuffle off the mortal coil, you'll know.  'Til then, you can continue to beguile yourself with your atheist dream.
A man went to a psychiatrist.
"Doc," he said, "You gotta help me."
"Yes?" said the psych, "Vhat zeems to be ze trubbles?"
"Well," he replied, "I keep having these dreams."
"Yes, yes," the psych answered, "Vhat KIND uf dreams?"
"Uh - well, first i dream i'm a teepee; then i dream i'm a wigwam.  Then a teepee again, then a wigwam again, teepee, wigwam, teepee, wigwam, teepee, wigwam, back and forth, all night, it's driving me CRAZY, i'm hardly getting ANY sleep, what's WRONG with me?"
The psych answered, "Vell, ordinarily, your problem vould take many yearz of diagnoziz and treatment, but luckily, i know eggzackly vhat ze trubble is - you are too tense!"      (two tents)
"Doc," said the man, "i have a brother who thinks he's a chicken."
"Really?" he replied, "Bring him in, and i can cure him."
"I would, doc, but we need the eggs!"
Welcome to the Psychiatric Hotline.
If you are obsessive-compulsive, please press 1 repeatedly.
If you are co-dependent, please ask someone to press 2.
If you have multiple personalities, please press 3, 4, 5, and 6.
If you are paranoid-delusional, we know who you are and what you want. Just stay on the line so we can trace the call.
If you are schizophrenic, listen carefully and a little voice will tell you which number to press.
If you are depressed, it doesn't matter which number you press. No one will answer.
If you are delusional and occasionally hallucinate, please be aware that the thing you are holding on the side of your head is alive and about to bite off your ear.
James Travil Added Nov 17, 2018 - 4:17pm
Suck it Face. 
FacePalm Added Nov 17, 2018 - 4:27pm
Ah, the well-reasoned, rational, well-supported reply.
"Thank you, come again!"(in my best Apu imitation.)
James Travil Added Nov 17, 2018 - 4:34pm
I already gave you a well reasoned reply, you were too damn stupid to get it, so you get, SUCK IT now douchebag. And I'm cereal 
FacePalm Added Nov 17, 2018 - 4:57pm
"cereal"?  Surreal is more like it.
As to the deliberate mischaracterizations and invective, that's the usual choice of an inferior mind who's losing the argument and has nothing left to hurl.
Hard to fight a battle of wits with so little ammunition, isn't it?
Marty Koval Added Nov 17, 2018 - 5:14pm
James Travil:
Satanic deception appeals strongly to atheists like yourself because it bolsters two of your desired delusions: 1) absolute autonomy being free to do as you please, and 2) the lack of ultimate accountability, there are no eternal consequences for doing as you please.
Atheists have a self-centered philosophy. It also requires responsibility, since atheists are taking on for themselves the complete onus for their personal success or failure. They can’t be praying to a God or blaming a devil, or anyone else, for that matter, for what happens to them. It’s on their own head.
Atheist make themselves the primary value in their life, thereby being your own god. By being your own god, you are making your own decisions about what to value. Since these decisions are based on ungodly wisdom, most of them will be wrong.
Atheist deny the fact that there is only one true GOD, the one who can save or destroy.  Thinking that you are you own god puts you on the path to eternal life in the Lake of Burning Sulfur. Where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth forever.
There is still time for you to see the truth and light, and set your eyes on the One and Only true God.
Doug Plumb Added Nov 17, 2018 - 6:41pm
Atheists just don't understand religion. Its that simple. They have a six year old's view of religion, don't explore it any further and dismiss some of history's greatest thinkers in the process.
  Understandable if you are a teenager or in your early twenties, but to profess that at 40 or 50 just wreaks of ignorance. Fine if you are a working guy, haven't read a serious book in twenty years - and don't go around telling other people what they should think.
James Travil Added Nov 17, 2018 - 8:43pm
Face I thought that cereal comment would go over your head. It's how the young people say "serious" if they really mean it. You know you and Farty Marty the insane really are crazy. I mean even if I ever SERIOUSLY considered thinking about it, I would never consider Biblegod as anything other than a parasite, spiritual vermin. I sure as hell would never dain to lower myself to actually worship a rat fuck like that THING. Most certainly if Biblegod actually exists outside of his Bible mythical fictions he is a pathetic vampiric monster, a fiend, and a damn ignorant one at that. The creature pretends to be the creator but is too damn stupid to know how the world and universe, let alone mankind was actually created! And the thing is a thug warmonger psychopath far more worse than anyone in the human species who has ever lived. And to top it all the demon is a racist and the worst kind of bigot that has ever existed. Plus he plagiarized countless stories from other cultures, everything from the creation myth to the Christ myth! Let's break one of these down to show just how INSANE it is, let's take Noah and the flood. The story, becides being historical revisionist lies is horrible fiction (stole from the Sumerian people BTW) that is impossible to believe without constant injections of MAGIC to make any of it even moderately possible! Take for example, how did god get all the animals to the ark? Magic. How did he fit the millions of different species into such a small place? Magic. And that's not even including the dinosaurs, some loons are even so stupid they believe that they were on the ark, IT WOULD TAKE A FLEET OF ARKS JUST TO HOUSE THE STERIOPODS! DUMB! next up, how did they feed all of the animals? Magic. How did they keep them from killing each other? Magic. How did they get rid of all the waste? Magic. How did Noah's family avoid the problems that inbreeding (yes I mean INSEST) had to produce? Magic. How did all the animals manage the long trek back home over a devestated earth with no food along the way? Magic. How did all the fresh water fish keep from dying? Magic! Only a small child could believe such madness, but you loonies are so special kinds of stupid that you believe it! I'm sorry but I'm not EVIL and STUPID enough to buy the Biblegod as anything other than a myth or a foul DEMON. Keep that in mind next time you start quoting Bible verses from that filth that is the Bible. No gentleman if a deity exists he or she is pretty much the OPPOSITE of the moronic monsterity I call Biblegod. 
James Travil Added Nov 17, 2018 - 8:45pm
Hey Doug, same to you fuckface. Like I just proved, it takes the uneducated mind of a small child to believe that garbage you call the Bible and Christianity, not the other way around. You are the apitomy of a hypocrite fool. 
Katharine Otto Added Nov 17, 2018 - 9:53pm
James Travil,
I believe in magic, or at least in things that we can't account for in our limited-sense reality.  I'm comfortable that the monotheistic and other religions are based on archetypes, what we can also call myths.  Yes, there are many creation stories and many flood stories, but I don't take them literally.  Some people do, but no one can prove any of their beliefs, especially after-life beliefs.  If someone's religion gives him comfort, I'm comfortable with that.  I have a Bible loving friend who prays for me, hoping I'll get to the same heaven he goes to, so he can maybe beat me in ping pong.  I'm fine with people of all faiths praying for me.
Interesting thoughts about meeting the people you have wronged and right-ed.  I've often thought that you never know how what you say or do may affect others, so there's a chance to find out?  The next question is whether there's a way to make reparations while you're still alive, either telepathically or through dreams.  That would be a talent worth developing.
I believe everyone knows when he acts with mal-intent (as opposed to making a simple mistake), even if he doesn't admit it.  I suspect even atheists must do some reckoning with themselves, sooner or later.
Lady Jen,
Where have you been?  I've missed you.  Not enough ladies here on WB lately.  Thanks for dropping by and for your comment.  Life may be like that:  maybe we're only subjected to the reality we agree to.  I guess the reality we breathing humans have contracted for is one of relentless psychodrama, at least lately.
Good analogy.  I agree.
Katharine Otto Added Nov 17, 2018 - 10:21pm
Doug Plumb,
Hope you feel better soon.  Thanks for reading and commenting.  
Michael B.,
Haha.  That leaves four days of the week unaccounted for.
Mogg Tsur,
The woman we discussed did not go to a therapist, so it's a moot point whether one could have helped.  I did not recommend journaling over therapy, but a journal is more accessible to many people than a therapist.  The main advantage of therapy is that it helps people find words for their feelings.  By making them conscious, they are better equipped to deal with them.  Journaling does the same thing.  
Everyone has "psychological problems" from time to time.  It helps to talk them out, write them out, or go jogging.  Therapy works for some people, but it doesn't work for everyone, and there are other "therapeutic" things people can do to feel better.
I'm a writer, and I am driven to express myself, whether or not anyone reads or cares.  
I like psychiatrist jokes.  I've heard the one about the chicken before.
Interesting thoughts about atheism, and I wonder if believing life ends at death makes a person live differently from someone who believes in eternal life (in whatever form).  If you believe in retribution or reward, it would probably motivate you  to try not to accumulate bad karma.  
James Travil,
I would like to believe the universe works everything to advantage.  I do believe time is an illusion, meaning life is eternal, because everything exists in the "spacious present."  No religion involved.  Simply physics.  I also believe there are many realities that intersect with this one, but this goes beyond any religion as people understand them, and begins to merge with science fiction, so I don't push it.
To think we are like candle flames that are snuffed out when we die sounds sad and lonely and must make people wonder about purpose.  Do you believe life has a purpose?
FacePalm Added Nov 17, 2018 - 11:34pm
I've often thought that you never know how what you say or do may affect others, so there's a chance to find out?
Sure!  "There is nothing hidden which will not be revealed."  This is a Good Thing for those who have sought to do good; it is generally a Bad Thing for those who have done others evilly, but necessary if there's hope for redemption.
The next question is whether there's a way to make reparations while you're still alive, either telepathically or through dreams.  That would be a talent worth developing.
While i was never IN Alcoholics Anonymous(i was required to go for a month or so back in the day: DWI), i found out that the 12-steps are actually based on a spiritual discipline practiced by monks of old times; one of the Steps is to "make amends" where possible.  So yes, if one repents(meaning "change your mind," for those unaware), one might certainly approach any living people you've wronged and apologize(or physically repay that loan you "forgot" or that time you stole from them, or vandalized their property or whatever); even if the apology is not accepted, it will remove a brick from your load for trying, imo. If, OTOH, the amends are successful, you may gain a friend and so add to the Love the world so sorely needs.
In '87, i received a vision, and in that vision i learned that in Heaven, one needn't speak to communicate; conversations are direct, mind-to-mind, which is why no evil can be hidden there(but there's a LOT of singing, incredibly beautiful harmonies). 
If you can recall, as i can, when you were a pre-verbal child, you may remember thinking that the "big people" understood your every thought, and how later, you discovered you could lie and no one would know... you may lend a bit more credence to this testimony...perhaps based on "and a little child shall lead them," or "except you have faith as a little child, you cannot enter."
Said that to say this: if there are those you have wronged, you can certainly direct your thoughts in their direction, even if they're long-dead.  Prayers, as well, to their Creator and your own.  Yes, telepathically.
i apologize for the ill-mannered tangent the last few posts may have taken, but i felt it necessary; there's always a chance for repentance, however slim, and the effort must be made.
Time will reveal all, eventually, and reality cannot be denied to He who is Searcher of Mind and Heart, from whom nothing may be hidden.
FacePalm Added Nov 17, 2018 - 11:49pm
Oh, and i have another psychiatrist/psychologist joke:
A man went to see a psyche doctor, and said, "Doc, whenever i lay down to sleep, i worry about monsters under my bed.  Then, if i look under the bed, i'm afraid they're crawling into bed with me.  When i look, i don't see any, but i think they just jumped back under the bed again.  i'm hardly getting any sleep.  Can you help me?"

The doc replied, "Of course i can, but this is likely a deep-seated psychosis, which could take a good deal of time to cure."
"How long?" replied the prospective patient.
"It could be years," said the doc.
"How much do you charge per session?" asked the guy.
"125 bux," he answered.
However, the doc never saw the guy again - except for a brief meeting on the street a few years later.
"Hey," shouted the doc, "Aren't you the guy who was worried about monsters under the bed?"
"Yeah, doc!  That was me!  i'm cured, now, though, and it didn't cost me a dime," said the once-upon-a-time patient.
"Oh, yeah?" queried the doc, "How so?"
"Well," he replied, "after our session, i went to my local bar and told the bartender, Bob, about our conversation.  He told me he could fix that problem almost instantly."
"Really," replied the incredulous doc, "How?"
"Simple," replied the patient, "He told me to put the mattress on the floor!"
Doug Plumb Added Nov 18, 2018 - 1:35pm
re "Do you believe life has a purpose?"
I've been thinking about purpose since my last youtube movie. My next movie will be about purpose and what Kant says about it Katharine. See 3rd Critique, last part on Teleological.
Katharine Otto Added Nov 18, 2018 - 7:33pm
Interesting about AA.   I've been thinking of doing a blog on addiction, and AA stands out as a model that works and has worked for a long time.  Some people are put off by the reliance on a "higher power," but even if it's only the power of the group peer support, it's greater than one person trying alone.  I have great respect for AA, more so now that the "opioid epidemic" is getting so much fanfare and funding with no evidence that the treatments they promote work.
As far as telepathy is concerned, I believe most people are more telepathic than they realize and communicate thoughts even if they don't want to.  I've never been a good liar and have assumed my thoughts are obvious.  Turns out that's not the case.  People are quick to assign motive or to second guess other people and probably don't even realize they are doing it.   
Katharine Otto Added Nov 18, 2018 - 7:35pm
When you mention Third Critique and Teleological, are you referring to Kant?  I will try to find it in the library.
FacePalm Added Nov 18, 2018 - 9:01pm
i've had a few interesting experiences in my life.
When i was a teenager - 17, i believe - i picked up some literature from the Rosicrucian society.  Part of the info included a ceremony where you make an altar, put a couple of white candles on it flanking a mirror, say a prayer to Christ for protection, then stare into the eyes of your reflection, repeating the phrase "Who am i," over and over.
After about 5 minutes of this, i saw my face and body change.  My eyes stayed the same, but in rapid succession i was young, old, male, female, various races and times(based on the period clothing i saw).  Scared the heebies AND the jeebies out of me, and as soon as i could break myself away, completely dismantled everything and never tried it again.
When reflecting on this experience, i had developed 2 theories on why i saw what i saw: either these were people i had been in the past, or this was a way of showing me that in Truth, we are all One.
Told you that to tell you this.
i used to have really bad road rage.  One of the things that particularly irks me is those people who drive for miles with their turn signals on - but i learned something that has proven successful for me.  i'll look into their rear-view mirror until i can see their eyes, or drive up alongside them until a get a look at their face, then i will VERY briefly close my eyes and pretend to BE them, projecting the thought, "I wonder how long my turn signal has been on?", then immediately turn my thoughts to something else.
At least 9x out of ten, in less than 10 seconds that turn signal will go off, lending credence to your theory about telepathy.
Only one way to know for sure: experiment.  Even then, you'd be unlikely to be able to prove your subjective experience objectively, especially those obstinately opposed to learning anything which could shake(or shatter) their paradigm.
i'm aware of at least a few spiritual teachers who refer to a similar practice as "remote influencing," and neither time nor distance has any meaning insofar as this procedure.  More can readily be found with a websearch of the linked phrase.  Apparently, this grew out of CIA experimentation when attempting to spy on the Soviets, as "remote viewing" is part and parcel of the discipline.
Based on the results of several websearches and some reading, it looks like i need to retract my assertion that AA is based on an ancient religious order's practices...though in truth, AA appears to have changed the wording of their steps to make it have more appeal to those who are not Christian, e.g. "A.A. members talk about spirituality, not religion; sobriety, not salvation; wrongdoing, not sin; admitting, not confessing; strength and hope, not resurrection; carrying the message, not sharing the faith."  Nevertheless, it did begin as a result of one of the founders, "Bill W," having a religious experience in hospital, and originally, AA was entirely based on Christian principles.
Katharine Otto Added Nov 19, 2018 - 3:09pm
I joined the Rosicrucians briefly a long time ago, but I don't remember that experiment.  I just remember they claimed everything in the universe is composed of vibrations, something that has been substantiated, more or less, by modern physics.
I've also heard of the "remote viewing" experiments.  I once had a book, which I've lost, that discussed psychic experiments behind the Iron Curtain.  While I believe in psychic phenomena, I don't believe in fooling around with it, in the sense of black magic, using it to influence or harm people, or to control something, like the weather or the outcome of an election. 
However, I do believe it can be developed and used for good, based on the same concept as prayer.  To express gratitude or to ask for understanding, for instance. 
A case of psychic promptings happened to me just yesterday.  Since Friday, I've had an internal wiring problem on my telephone and had scheduled an AT&T appointment for repair on Wednesday.  Yesterday, I kept getting the nagging feeling I should check the lines again at the outside box.  Sure enough, the lines had magically repaired themselves.  I figured moisture had gotten into the lines from a heavy rain we had last week.  
I wish I was psychically connected with AT&T.  It took all morning to get through to them to cancel the appointment.  Their customer service lines are down.
Doug Plumb Added Nov 19, 2018 - 8:41pm
re "When you mention Third Critique and Teleological, are you referring to Kant?  I will try to find it in the library. "
It is Kant, I wonder if one can understand it without having read a fair bit of his other works. Kant does require a certain amount of faith, but the reasoning for this is buried in the works. There are a lot of non Kantians around - I think they are disinformation agents.
  I think as a doc, you may understand it better than most or perhaps me. My movie Dialectic has a significant part on the scientific method (35 or so minutes). I based this on what I quoted as being on the third but really this part of the 3rd that I talk about was the part that was a re-explanation of Kantianism as a whole (basically a dialectic between reason and understanding that confuses us as well as pure reason taking us on on wild goose chases- antinomies - & this all mixes in with epistemology which is why he is famous).
Kant wrote the 1st then attempted to explain it better in his subsequent works. (He says that everything he wrote was in the 1st Critique). I don't think you can really get Kant without going beyond the 1st into his second attempts at explaining everything. Maybe the stuff in his 3rd will be simple for you. Maybe you won't appreciate it. Among Kantians, English Lit people tend to like the 3rd the best, as I do, and I think for those 20 or 30 pages that start the teleological second half of the book. Its damned difficult reading, be forewarned.
  This is the greatest philosophical tract I have ever read, mostly I can say this about other Kant stuff I read, but I also say it about Rousseau (Politics), Plato(Justice) and sometimes Aristotle(personal philosophy).
  I would never say that I understood more than about 30% of Kant because a few serious intellects that I have known who love Kant say that and I'm not as smart as any of them but put my time in with Kant
  To get the unfiltered Kant, get the new Oxford version of any of it. They started a project to re publish all his works under supervision of highly regarded Kantians and non Kantians. The stuff they print - doesn't get printed elsewhere. "Judaism is a political movement, not a religion" - no book can say that but the Oxford version of Religion within the Boundaries Of Mere Reason does. I like my books "un stepped on". He says little - very little about Jews and the illuminati in that book and explains rational Christianity.
Doug Plumb Added Nov 19, 2018 - 8:45pm
Condensed version of what I wrote: The teleological part on the third is a condensed but I think better explanation of Kantianism as a whole.
I wish I could spend more time reading Kant but I have to read law because the stupid bank took my bank account away for not pleasing revenue canada (income tax) so I have to take them to court. I wish I could read Kant again instead.
FacePalm Added Nov 19, 2018 - 11:15pm
Yes, some on the dark side use this telepathic power to influence others negatively.  That's what their satanic ceremonies, witches' covens, Ba'al & Molech worship, voodoo, etc. is all about, that, and temporal power over the lives of others, whether to enrich themselves or to cause harm to befall the objects of their intent. 
Unfortunately for such as these, what they have done to "others" is exactly what they'll experience in the future.  Most people understand both being dominant and being submissive to the "power over/power under" principle, but few even want to ATTEMPT to understand and exercise the superior principle (IMO), "power WITH."  I'm a people watcher, and it's oftentimes amusing to me to observe people's interactions, and to guess whether the ones i'm seeing are adopting a "one-up" pose or a "one-down."  Most of the time, it's not remotely difficult.
Many years ago - on my way to boot camp, actually - i picked up what was, for me, an extraordinary book entitled "Mind Games,"(in the airport prior to boarding my flight, as it happens) by Robert Masters and Jean Houston(if i remember aright, both Phd psychologists); it even had a cover endorsement by John Lennon, and perhaps was the inspiration for his song by the same name(or vice versa).  My copy has an orange-ish cover, and there have been other covers since.
At any rate, one of the games described in the book was to have the participants create a sort-of "group spirit" by the use of their energy - which i think is essentially similar to both prayer and the casting of spells, even if done in ignorance of what they're doing.
Despite the naysayers' claims, there IS a spiritual world, and the power available there is enormous, both for evil or for good.  But "as ye sow, so shall ye reap" is a quite universal principle, inescapable, inexorable, unavoidable.  Much better in both short and long-term to seek Good for your fellows than it's opposite...but it certainly explains the desire to create an "AI god," to worship and meld consciousness with, as those who have done great evil have NO desire to reap the consequences of the seeds they have sown, hence their (futile) attempt to avoid Justice.  Though you may doubt my veracity on this point, a couple of websearches will confirm that in certain circles - usually, quite wealthy ones - this is exactly their "plan," though it won't work the way they're hoping.
i sympathize with your experience with "customer service" these days. Ever try calling the DMV?  Any gov't agency, state, city, or federal?
Here is a possible solution to the connectivity problems: get a tube of silicon caulk and cover the connections with it while it's dry, and you'll have provided a seal against moisture shorting out the contacts in future.  If it's still damp while you're motivated to do this, use a hair dryer on them, first, then allow the wiring to cool down before caulking - and i recommend clear caulk, btw.  It will usually go on and look white, but as it cures, it will become clear, usually within a week or so.  Just use some throw-away gloves; silicon caulk is very difficult to wash off.  The "siliconized" latex caulk, OTOH, is much easier to work with, in my experience, as it's water soluble before it dries...iow, soap and water will take it off easily.
(sorry; long years as a handyman prompt me to offer potential solutions.  It has come to my attention that for many women, they don't necessarily WANT a man to solve their problem(s), just agree that there IS one, and sympathize.)
Stone-Eater Added Nov 20, 2018 - 1:20pm
Do you believe life has a purpose?
No. Except for US. WE have to create purpose for our lives as well as sense. 
Doug Plumb Added Nov 20, 2018 - 5:53pm
@ Facepalm re " That's what their satanic ceremonies, witches' covens, Ba'al & Molech worship, voodoo, etc. is all about, that, and temporal power over the lives of others, whether to enrich themselves or to cause harm to befall the objects of their intent. "
Nothing is real about this, its just the power of ceremony in uniting people. The more special and exclusive the ceremony, the more special the people feel. Making people feel special is part of a confidence scam.
FacePalm Added Nov 20, 2018 - 6:04pm
You are apparently unaware of the power of the "collective mind."  For a POSITIVE example of this, see "Think and Grow Rich," by Napoleon Hill...specifically, the "Mastermind" process.
The "ceremonies" but focus the energy created, if those doing so are aware of the power.
Christians, for the most part, are unaware of the power of Unity in prayer, even though Christ told them: "Whenever two or more of you agree as touching any thing, it will be done for them."  Since so few have ever been taught of this, few miracles take place any longer, save at certain places where Faith is gathered, like Lourdes.
Did you ever hear why native Hawaiians called off-islanders "Howlies"?(probably misspelled.)
Katharine Otto Added Nov 21, 2018 - 9:29pm
I know you are a great fan of Kant, but I probably won't spend much time trying to understand him.  However, I will give it a try, as soon as I get around to it.
On the other subject of mental telepathy, magic, and the like, I definitely believe in the power of the mind, including the power of the mass mind.  Many of the accepted beliefs we hold today in the West are manifestations of the mass mind, or thought forms, generated and perpetuated by a blend of cultural ideas and the mass media.  There is a powerful energy generated by group events, everything from worship services to concerts to football games.  
I've heard that positive, loving thoughts are much more powerful than negative, harmful ones.  I hope so.  
Interesting point about the "power" idea.  There's also the "power to" which involves self-directed action and is independent of other people, used sometimes in addiction recovery programs.
Thanks for the tip about the connections.  It had occurred to me to dry the connections out with a hair dryer but not to seal them.  There's an access problem with the connections, as I think they're inside a box inside the main box that says "Do not open," and I'm not sure where the moisture got in--if, indeed, that was the problem.  Oh, but I wish I had your skill, and wish I'd paid more attention when my father used to fix things.
I'm too familiar with the DMV and remember your post about it.  Getting my driver's license renewed was an exercise in bureaucratic "power over" in its most maddening form.
I guess believing life has a purpose separates me from the atheists, even though I don't believe in the traditional monotheistic god.  I do believe the universe is conscious and purposeful, and we each are "divine sparks."
FacePalm Added Nov 22, 2018 - 7:06am
Just a point of curiosity; had you ever previously heard of Masters and Houston, or their joint book?
Don't worry about the side of the box which says "do not open."  I've opened mine several times before.  Basically, it has the "input lugs," that is, where the incoming and outgoing lines from/to the street connect to a "terminal block," and what you see on the other side - the non-"do not open" side - are just the connections going into and back from your house. 
If you decide to go with the non-silicone caulk, it would be advisable to do non-connected terminals alternately, because electricity can be conducted through latex caulk until it dries.
One could also use petroleum jelly, but it's messy, too, and when it gets hot, it'll tend to sag and/or melt and droop down.
More on-topic, have you ever heard of the omnipresent zero point field, and would you be interested in the ruminations of a JPL scientist about it, and how it relates to the statement in Genesis, "Let there be light"?
Katharine Otto Added Nov 22, 2018 - 10:56pm
No, I haven't heard of Masters and Houston or of the omnipresent zero point field.  Are you thinking of doing an article on one or the other?  I'm probably not the only one who would be interested.
Since my telephone problem fixed itself, I'm reluctant to fiddle with it until something goes wrong again.  But for future reference, is the non-silicone caulk the same as the latex "siliconized" one you mention above?  
What's a JPL scientist?  
FacePalm Added Nov 23, 2018 - 5:09am
is the non-silicone caulk the same as the latex "siliconized" one you mention above?  
  Yes.   Another point to perhaps note is that i recommended caulking alternately, by which i meant letting the first application dry(usually, 4-6 hours) before applying the other set.
It's good that you don't have the "tinkeritis" disease; that is, something's working fine until you mess with it.  i'm also a firm believer in "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."  That said, however, the principle of preventive maintenance is a good one.  A couple of examples: check your furnace air filter at least once every 2 months, and when freezing weather is expected, if you have external hose bibs, turn the valve to them off on the inside of the house, then open the hose bib to drain the water out to avoid burst pipes, which are no fun.
What's a JPL scientist?  
Jet Propulsion Laboratory.  Palo Alto, Calif., iirc. IOW, smart guy.
i'm holding off on publishing any articles on the grounds that there's a problem with putting them up.  Last time i did one, having been put on notice by Autumn on multiple other posts, i was VERY careful to click "submit" only once - but it published 7x anyway, and i was unable to delete the excess.  The only thing i could do is save them as drafts - and i can't delete those, either.
But i prefer to comment anyhow.

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